Teachers slam 'shambolic' biometric registration exercise
By Staff reporter | 30 Sep 2019 at 22:28hrs
CIVIL servants in rural areas have bemoaned the slow pace of the ongoing biometric registration exercise saying it was now adversely affecting their work.
The biometric registration is being implemented by the Civil Service Commission with the assistance of the World Bank and is part of efforts to weed out ghost workers and modernise management of the civil service.
Commission chairperson Vincent Hungwe has said civil servants who have not registered on the biometric system by September 30, 2019 at their district offices will be taken off the Salary Service Bureau payroll.
Progressive Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) Raymond Majongwe said teachers and other civil servants in rural areas were spending up to three to four days at the registration centres.
"We have been receiving reports from teachers and other civil servants in areas including Chipinge, Binga and Tsholotsho saying they are experiencing poor service delivery as they are spending up to four days while waiting to get registered," Majongwe said.
"In some places people are being asked to pay in cash $10, $15 and in some cases up to $50 to access the plastic identity cards. "How can the same document be accessed at different amounts and why would one ask the people to pay in cash only knowing fully well that access to cash is a challenge in this country?"
Majongwe added that this had disrupted Grade Seven examinations and lessons as teachers are spending more time at registration centres.
He further said that this was an indication that this programme was not properly organised as it has turned out to be a nightmare for civil servants in rural areas.
"Such disorganisation shows that there was no ground work that was done to ensure that the process is smooth for the rural folk and there is nothing that the civil servants can do because government made it clear that if they do not get registered by next week Monday then they will not be able to receive their salaries," Majongwe said.
Amalgamated Rural Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz) president Obert Masaraure said the biometric registration programme was hurried and is now straining civil servants. "Teachers in rural areas are spending a lot of money amounting to almost $300 in travel expenses to the registration centres.
Teachers are already struggling because their salaries have been eroded by inflation and this is yet another cost that has been added on top of their already strained budget," Masaraure said.